Sun, 25 June 2017
Meira Kumar's emotional appeal to electoral college for support

Timeline  Refresh

21:33   Kashmiri student booked over 'pro-Pakistan' Facebook comment
Gwalior police has registered a case against a Kashmiri student over his comment on social media supporting Pakistan after the Champions Trophy final.

A case under Indian Penal Code section 153-A (disturbing communal harmony) and the provisions of Information Technology Act was registered against Seh Mudassar, who hails from Kashmir, after his comment on a Facebook post created tension in Mahalgaon area of the city, additional superintendent of police Abhishek Tiwari said.

A boy from the area -- where Mudassar, a post-graduate student of Jiwaji University, has been living for the last two years -- wrote a post on Facebook congratulating Pakistan for its victory while expressing disappointment over India's performance in the June 18 match.

Reacting to the post, Mudassar made a 'pro-Pakistan' comment.

It created tension in the area, and the boy's parents scolded their son over the issue. Mudassar then left for Kashmir, the ASP said.

A group of ten persons allegedly visited the boy's house on Friday and created ruckus over the issue.

Police registered a case against them too, Tiwari said.

While nobody has been arrested, security in the area has been stepped up, he added.  -- PTI
20:12   Meira Kumar's emotional appeal to electoral college for support
Opposition's presidential nominee Meira Kumar on Sunday wrote a letter to the electoral collegium or college seeking support in the presidential elections that is scheduled to take place on July 17.

The electoral college is comprised of members of Parliament and state legislatures and it elects the President.

Asking the members to heed to their 'inner voice of conscience', Meira stated, 'The President takes an oath to 'protect and defend the Constitution' -- the backbone of our democracy. It is this Constitution that I and countless others have invoked to reinforce our democratic values. The Constitution recognises the office of the President as being the final touchstone for the passage of laws. It, therefore, cannot function to serve narrow political interests.'

The former Lok Sabha Speaker and Congress leader further added: 'As an honourable member of the collegiums, you have the unique privilege to make history.Let us stand together, in spirit and action, to affirm our pledge to this sacred process and to that guiding voice within us.' -- ANI
19:01   10 policemen killed in Taliban attack in Afghanistan
At least 10 policemen were killed and four injured in a Taliban attack in Afghanistan's western Herat province on Saturday night, the police said on Sunday.

The attack took place after the Taliban terrorists stormed a check post in Chesht district of the province.

During the attack four Taliban terrorists were also gunned down by the security forces.

"Four Taliban insurgents were also killed in the clash with security forces," spokesman for provincial police chief, Gelani Farhad was quoted by Tolonews as saying.

Farhad further said that some terrorists managed to escape with most of the security forces' weapons at the check post. -- ANI
17:45   6 injured as car ploughs into Eid celebration in UK
Six people, including three children, were injured when a car mounted a kerb and ploughed into a crowd of people participating in an event to celebrate Eid outside a sports centre in northeast England today.

Police said the incident in Newcastle was not believed to be terrorism-related but a full investigation was underway.

"As previously stated there is nothing to suggest that this is terror related. A 42-year-old woman is currently in police custody and police are not looking for any other suspects at this time," a Northumbria Police statement said.

One of the children is said to have been critically injured. Hundreds of people were at the event this morning to mark the end of Ramzan outside the Westgate Sports Centre.

A North East Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We received our first 999 call at 9.15 this morning to report a car that had mounted the kerb.

"We have taken six people to hospital; they have gone to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle; three children and three adults."

Emergency services included six ambulances, two paramedic rapid response vehicles and the air ambulance.

An eyewitness told the BBC: "From what I understand, [a woman who had been at prayer] was about to leave in her car and I believe she lost control.

"I ran up straight away because everyone was moving in on all the injured, trying to put water in their mouths.

"The parents of the kids were there, I had to sort of try and calm them down just to tell them the ambulance is there and they will take care of it; they know what they're doing.

"It caused a lot of panic; everyone was screaming when it happened, it wasn't the best of experiences."

Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, tweeted: 'So sad, I was at the prayers earlier & there were so much joy & unity. Thinking of those affected by what I am told was terrible accident.'

Britain is on high alert following recent terror attacks involving vehicles.

On June 19, a man drove a van into Muslim worshippers in London, killing one and injuring others. -- PTI
16:45   5 tourists killed as cable car tower collapses in Gulmarg
Five tourists were killed after a Gondola (cable car) tower collapsed due to strong winds in Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir, on Sunday.

After the mishap, the Gondola services have been stopped and multiple tourists are stranded in the cable cars.

Rescue operations are underway.

The gondola service of Gulmarg is hugely popular, drawing thousands of people in summer.  -- Agencies
16:40   UK school asks teen students to draft suicide note for homework
An English teacher in the United Kingdom asked over 60 teenage students to draft a suicide note for homework as part of a module on Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, sparking outrage and prompting the school to apologise.

Pupils at Thomas Tallis school, Kidbrooke, London, were asked to pen a final note to their loved ones after reading one of the play's most celebrated scenes, when Lady Macbeth takes her own life.

However, the decision caused outrage among parents, some of whom claimed their children had been personally affected by the issue, The Telegraph reported.

Criticising Thomas Tallis for its lack of sensitivity, one mother said her daughter had been told to write the note -- despite having lost three friends to suicide.

She was quoted as saying that her daughter had become 'very distressed' over the issue, and had told the teacher in question that such material made her feel uncomfortable.

"My daughter had had personal experience with people her age committing suicide," the mother said.

"On what universe was it ever, under any situation, a good idea to ask a group of teenagers to write suicide notes?" she said.

Other parents branded the decision 'absolutely disgusting' and 'insensitive', with one claiming that the assignment had been ill-conceived given the age of the students involved.

"I can't imagine why a place of education would do something so insensitive, especially as childhood and teenage depression and anxiety is at an all time high at the moment," another parent said.

Headmistress Caroyln Roberts said, "A parent contacted us with concerns about a written exercise given to a class during studies of a play by Shakespeare."

"We appreciate that the exercise was upsetting to the family and have discussed the subject matter and approach with teaching staff," Roberts said.

"I met with the parent last week and apologised wholeheartedly on behalf of the school and reassured them about the actions that have been taken. The parent accepted the apology in a meeting that was friendly and cordial," she said.  -- PTI
15:36   We're living under 'undeclared Emergency': Congress hits back at PM
The Congress Party on Sunday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking about the 1975 Emergency in his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, saying that the National Democratic Alliance-led government at the Centre has imposed an 'undeclared emergency' on the country.

Citing the Central Bureau of Investigation raids on NDTV owners Prannoy Roy and wife over alleged 'bank fraud' and the deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir as examples, Congress leader Tom Vadakkan said, "Yes, we have not forgotten Emergency, but there is an undeclared emergency in the country. The fact is that there is a muzzling of the media and the raids on media which can only be listed as undeclared emergency."

Vadakkan further said the prime minister failed to raise issues of internal and external security, which he alleged, is in jeopardy.

"The prime minister raised various issues in his 'Mann Ki Baat', but I wish issues of internal security also would have been raised. Internal security in this country is under jeopardy, why? This broad shoulder government said they will put it in order. This is for the first time that internal and outer security are running parallel simply for reason when there is firing and incursion is coming in from Pakistan and terrorist and separatist are actively engaged inside the country," he said.

He claimed that the separatists are increasingly growing disdainful over the present state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, and are opting for terrorism.

"The so called separatists have grown up to be terrorists in the valley. We have situation where counterfeit currency is being printed and the case of lynching mobs and romeo squads are emerging. What are they?"

The Congress' strong rebuttal came after Prime Minister Modi reminded people about the 'horrors' of Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi on June 1975, and asked people to rededicate themselves towards the goal of strengthening democracy.

He said the former government took away people's liberty and freedom, and did not spare any section of society, be it political, economic, media, students, communities, or even the judiciary. -- ANI
14:18   Army rethinking on sahayak system, may induct civilians in peace stations
The Army is now actively considering recruiting civilian staff in peace stations to do away with the colonial-era sahayak system, in the wake of rising cases of jawans coming out openly against it.

A top Army official, however, said the sahayaks or buddy system -- whereby a solider is attached to officers -- will continue be deployed in key bases and field areas as they have defined military duties.

"We are looking at getting civilian staff to replace sahayaks in peace stations," the official said.

In the recent months, a number of videos had surfaced where some army jawans were seen voicing their anger over the sahayak system with some even alleging that they are treated as servants by the officers whom they are attached to.

The official said the option of deploying civilian staff at peace stations instead of sahayaks will help the Army in economising on its man power as well.

"Currently, we are examining various aspect of the option," he said, insisting sahayaks cannot be replaced in field units.

In March, the government had strongly defended the sahayak system in the Army, saying it provides an 'essential support' to officers in 'fully' attending to their duties in times of peace and war.

At the same time, the government had said sahayaks or orderlies are combatants and exhaustive instructions have been issued to not make them perform menial tasks which are not in conformity with the dignity of a soldier.

An annual conference of top army commanders in April had held extensive deliberations on the Army's 'internal health' including on sahayaks, and decided to reorient the human resource policy of the force.

Sahayaks are soldiers and their duties include protecting the officers, maintaining their weapons and equipment and helping them in carrying out their responsibilities. -- PTI
13:07   J-K cops asked to avoid Eid prayers in public places
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has asked its personnel to avoid Eid prayers in public places in the wake of mob lynching of a deputy superintendent of police outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar.

Police personnel have been advised to offer prayers in mosques in district police lines or protected mosques.

'You are advised to instruct the field and subordinate formations that they shall not offer Eid prayers in isolated or general mosques or eidgahs,' an advisory issued from Police Control Room on behalf of Inspector General of Police,Kashmir, to all police stations across the Valley read.

It said all police personnel shall offer Eid prayers in mosques in district police lines Srinagar or PCR Kashmir.

'In other districts also, the Eid prayers shall beoffered in DPL mosques or protected mosques where the safetyof your personnel is ensured,' the advisory read.

Asked about the advisory, Director General of Police S PVaid said, "It is good to take precautions."

"They (police personnel) are my men, I will advise them. They are my children, so we will advise them to take precautions," he said.

The advisory comes in the wake of mob lynching of DSP Mohammad Ayub Pandith outside the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of Srinagar on Thursday during Shab-e-Qadar prayers. -- PTI
12:50   Srinagar: 2 soldiers injured in encounter with terrorists
Two army personnel were injured in an encounter with terrorists in Srinagar's Pantha Chowk area on Sunday.

Earlier, the Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars in the Nowshera sector along the Line of Control.

The Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively to the firing from across the border that began around 6.30 am. -- ANI

Representative image.
JUST IN: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha gives 12 hours relaxation of its indefinite strike in Darjeeling, for Muslim community on the eve of Eid.
11:58   Mann ki Baat: PM extends Eid greetings; remembers Emergency
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday offered his prayers and greetings to his countrymen on the occasion of Eid and the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra and urged citizens to get inspired by these festivals, spread happiness and take the country forward.

In the 33rd edition of his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, the Prime Minister said, "Lord Jagannath is the God of the poor; few know that in English, juggernaut means a magnificent chariot, that is unstoppable. It is quite possible that the word may have been taken from Jagannath."

"The car festival of Lord Jagannath, Rath Yatra, is being celebrated in several parts of country with great piety and fervour. Ramzan is the month of charity, of bringing happiness to others," he added.

The prime minister started the address by talking about rains and the weather.

He said that the weather is changing and that the monsoon seems to be on time, thus bringing a respite to the people from the heat.

Extending Eid greetings, he said, "India's diversity is its uniqueness and strength. Holy Month of Ramzan is observed with reverence. Heartiest greetings to all on Eid."

Remembering Emergency on its 42nd anniversary, the PM said, "Those who love democracy. can never forget dark night of June 25, 1975, nation was turned into a jail. opposition voices were muzzled." -- ANI
11:43   Wreath-laying ceremony of martyred CRPF officer held
The wreath laying ceremony of Central Reserve Police Force sub inspector Sahab Shukla, who lost his life in a terrorist attack at Srinagar's Pantha Chowk, took place on Sunday.

The mortal remains of the martyr was transported from Delhi to his hometown Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh via helicopter.It is likely to reach Gorakhpur by 4 pm.

Sub-Inspector Shukla lost his life and two other jawans were injured after terrorists attacked their vehicle near Pantha Chowk in Srinagar yesterday. -- ANI
11:07   Oil tanker overturns, over 100 killed in blaze in Pakistan
At least 100 people were \charred to death and 75 others severely injured after an oil tanker caught fire and exploded on a highway in Bahawalpur district of Pakistan's Punjab province today, according to media reports. 

The tanker caught fire and exploded apparently after a fuel leakage from its damaged containers. 

At least 100 people were killed and 75 others severely injured in the blaze, local media reported. They had gathered around the tanker after it overturned to collect oil that had leaked out. 

The fire brigade arrived on the site of the incident shortly after the blaze started and rescue operations were initiated. Two fire engines battled the fire and eventually gained control over it.  

At least six cars and 12 motorcycles were burnt in the blaze. 

The injured have transferred to hospital, rescue officials said. 
Just In: Over 100 people feared killed in an oil tanker fire in Bahawalpur city of Pakistan's Punjab province.
10:17   Pakistan Army violates ceasefire in Naushera sector of J&K
The Pakistan Army on Sunday initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic weapons and mortars in Jammu and Kashmir's Naushera sector along the Line of Control (LoC).  

The Indian Army said it was retaliating strongly and effectively to the firing. 

Pakistan initiated the firing at around 6.30 am today.  

On Saturday, too, Pakistan had violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch sector, resorting to unprovoked indiscriminate firing from small arms, automatics and mortars.
10:11   Tremors hit Manipur, for the 4th time in June
A 3.5 magnitude earthquake shook Manipur's Chandel in the wee hours of Sunday.  

Just this month, Manipur has experienced tremors quite a few times. 

On June 19, an earthquake of magnitude 4.4 hit Imphal. 

A few days ago, a mild earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0 hit the Churachandpur district. 

And on June 1, an earthquake of 3.2 magnitude hit Senapati district in Manipur at around 5.48 pm.
09:43   Child who fell into 450-ft deep borewell found dead
Rescue workers today pulled out dead the 14-month girl who had accidentally slipped into an open borewell in Telangana's Ranga Reddy district on Thursday.  

After about 58 hours of rescue operation involving different agencies, the child, the daughter of a farm labourer, was found dead today, the police said.  

The girl, fondly known as Chinnari, was playing with her elder sister when she accidentally fell in the nearly 450-feet-deep open borewell in a field at Ekkareddyguda village of Chevella mandal, about 60 km from Hyderabad, on Thursday around 7.15 pm. 

"She is declared dead...we called off the rescue operation at 6 am after her remains were retrieved," Cyberabad Police Commissioner Sandeep Shandilya said.  

The authorities had yesterday said chances of the child's survival were bleak.  

The efforts to rescue the child had started from 8 pm on Thursday using different methods. However, today her remains were found stuck at around 245 feet, the police said.
09:17   Salman, SRK show up at Siddiqui's Iftar party, but separately
Bollywood superstars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, known for their bitter-sweet rivalry and Iftar party hugs, attended Mumbai Congress leader Baba Siddiqui's Iftar party on Saturday, but made separate appearances. 

While Salman attended the ceremony with presumed girlfriend Iulia Vantur, Shah Rukh made a solo appearance. 

Child actor Matin Rey Tangu from Tubelight, Salman's recently-released movie, also attended the party, while director Kabir Khan came with his wife Mini Mathur.  

Sohail Khan, Huma Qureshi, Sonu Sood, Sooraj Pancholi, and Ileana D'Cruz among others were also in attendance.  

For the uninitiated, Baba Siddiqui's 2013 Iftar party was the event that brought together friends-turned-foes-turned-friends Shah Rukh and Salman even as they hugged and made up, ending years of bitter enmity that had split Bollywood down the middle. 

The 2014 Iftar party seemed like a repeat of 2013's where the two warring Khans again hugged each other.  

Meanwhile, Tubelight managed to gross Rs 21.15 crore on its opening day, becoming the second highest opener of 2017, but the lowest opening for a Salman Khan movie that released around Eid in the last five years. 

Tubelight, set against the backdrop of the 1962 Sino-Indian war, has received a mixed response from film critics and audiences so far. 

Shah Rukh Khan makes a special appearance in the movie.
08:45   Indian community members greet Modi on arrival at hotel
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted by a group of people from the Indian community who were waiting for him outside a high-security hotel in Washington, DC, where he is staying. 

Modi arrived in the American capital on Saturday night local time for his first bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump. 

A small group of people from the Indian community were waiting outside the Willard InterContinental to catch a glimpse of the prime minister. As Modi's motorcade arrived at the hotel, he got out of his vehicle and walked up to the group of people, waving out to them. 

The Indian community members burst into loud cheers and chanted "Modi-Modi" as the prime minister walked up to them.
08:30   Terrorists hiding in Srinagar school, gun battle on
A gun battle broke out at DPS Srinagar in the wee hours today as security forces launched an offensive to flush out the terrorists who took refuge inside the school after attacking CRPF personnel in Pantha chowk area last evening.  

"The exchange of firing between security forces and militants began at around 3.40 am and is going on intermittently," a police official said.  

The terrorists had entered the premises of DPS Srinagar last evening after carrying out an attack on the CRPF personnel deployed on road opening duty near the school on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.  

One CRPF officer was killed and a constable of the force injured in the attack that took place in the high security zone located less than a kilometre away from headquarters of the Army's Chinar Corps.  

The security forces immediately cordoned off the area and launched search operations in the large school campus.  

Sources said drone cameras and other hi-tech gadgets were used to trace the location of the terrorists but police officials refused to comment on operational details.
08:04   POTUS tweets on Modi visit: 'Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!'
Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "true friend," President Donald Trump has said he looks forward to the Indian leader's visit to US, which begins today. 

"Look forward to welcoming India's PM Modi to @WhiteHouse on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend!," Trump posted from his official (@POTUS) Twitter handle. 

Modi arrived in Washington, DC, today for his first meeting with the US leader. The two leaders will hold talks on Monday afternoon in the White House and would spend several hours together in various settings including one-on-one and delegation level meetings, a reception and a working dinner. 

The working dinner that Trump is hosting for Modi is the first of its kind under the administration. 

"The White House is very interested in making this a special visit. We're really seeking to roll out the red carpet. In fact, the two (leaders) will have dinner, a working dinner at the White House.  

"This will be the first dinner for a foreign dignitary at the White House under this administration. So, we think that's very significant," a senior administration official told reporters at the White House. 
07:58   Modi arrives in Washington, DC, for talks with Trump
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived in Washington, DC, on the second leg of his three-nation tour for his first bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump, as the two leaders are set to hold discussions on a set of "strategically important" issues.  

Modi arrived in the American capital early today after a day-long working visit to Portugal, the first-ever bilateral visit by an Indian PM to the European nation. Modi's three-day visit to the US will begin today. 

The PM will interact with about 20 leading American CEOs followed by an Indian-American community event in the DC suburb of Virginia. The programme is likely to be attended by about 600 members of the community.  

American CEOs expected to meet Modi today include Apple's Tim Cook, Walmart's Doug McMillon, Caterpillar's Jim Umpleby, Google's Sundar Pichai and Microsoft's Satya Nadella.  

Trump will host Modi at the White House on Monday afternoon and the two leaders would spend about five hours together in various settings beginning with their bilateral discussion, delegation level talks, a reception and a working dinner, the first of its kind hosted by this administration. 

The two leaders will not address a press conference but will issue individual press statements.